A thousand splendid suns

When someone asks me what my favourite book is, I can’t really answer that question really easily. I really like reading and I have read a lot of different books. So I always say that I don’t have one specific favourite book, but that I have a few favorites that I will always remember. A thousand splendid suns is one of them.

The story covers three decades of anti-Soviet Jihad, civil war and Taliban tyranny written from the perspectives of two women. Mariam is the scorned illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman, forced at age fifteen into marrying Rasheed, who grows increasingly brutal when she fails to produce a child. Eighteen years later, Rasheed takes another wife, fourteen year-old Laila, a smart and spirited girl whose only other options, after her parents are killed by rocket fire, are prostitution or starvation. Initially feelings of jealousy and suspicion predominate between the two women, but then Mariam and Laila become allies in a battle with Rasheed .

The role of women in other cultures is something I have always been interested in. This book doesn’t only tell a story about the place of the women in the Afghan en Islamic society, but also about the wars that have plagued Afghanistan over the last decades. It is truly a heartbreaking story and I really sympathized with Mariam and Laila. It is a book that recounts the history of Afghanistan, yet is still very current. Khaled Hosseini really knew how to fascinate and move me from the first to the last page.

As girl from the safe western world, I don’t really think about the fact that women in other countries take another place in the society as they do in the western world. I think it’s ‘weird’ that safety and equality don’t speak for their selves in some countries. In Afghanistan and a lot of other countries wars a part of every normal day and that is just something I can’t contain really easily, simply because I know nothing more than peace.

I think this is  a book you should really read. Not only because the descriptions of the characters and situations are described really beautifully, but also because you can learn something about it. After reading this book I just had another view on certain things and for the first time I really started to realize that so many people in the world don’t live as we do here. Mariam and Laila are struggling with violence and grief every day. The strong friendship they build together is what really, I’m not overreacting, makes you cry.


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